School supplies and backpacks are probably the last thing on your mind, but a new academic year is right around the corner. Now's the time that charitable organizations are seeking donations to help children throughout the Commonwealth start the new year with essential supplies. So as you shop for sunscreen and s'mores ingredients, consider picking up items for these worthy causes:
Citizens Bank/Cradles to Crayons. Citizens' annual "Gear for Grades" program is running now through Aug. 9, with the aim of filling over 30,000 backpacks with school supplies for distribution on City Hall Plaza this summer. This year's partner is Cradles to Crayons. You can drop off donations at any Citizens Bank branch. Suggested items include crayons, markers, spiral notebooks, pens, pencils, child-safe scissors, glue, index cards and more. www.citizensbank.com
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless Furniture Bank. The 2013 back-to-school supply drive is going on now. Needed items include everything from backpacks and pencils to linens and blankets. Collect items on your own, or join forces at work or in your community to donate even more. Smaller amounts can be dropped off at the Coalition's warehouse at 15 Bubier St., Lynn. The Coalition can arrange to pick up larger quantities, but you must schedule ahead of time. Deadline is mid-August to ensure that supplies are distributed to children before the start of the school year. www.mahomeless.org
The Home for Little Wanderers. Help the children in the Home's care start the school year with success and confidence. Donate items such as backpacks, pens/pencils, staplers, gift cards to stores, warm winter coats, and books for teens. The Home cannot pick up items; donations can be dropped off at 271 Huntington Ave., Boston. Supplies are accepted Aug. 1 - Sept. 9, but please deliver as soon as possible. www.thehome.org
About Parent Buzz
Browse this blogby category
Kristi Palma, Boston.com Moms producer, is the mom of a first grader and a preschooler. She is a writer who enjoys cooking her grandmother's Italian recipes (when her son isn't launching paper airplanes into them). Follow her on Twitter @kristipalma.